Understanding DisAbilities


Introducing Shawn Smith

Shawn Smith grew up believing he was a dumb kid. Though he tried in school, he didn’t receive the marks he had hoped for. He failed grade eight and made 32 attempts to complete his 18 credits for high school. It wasn’t until the age of 30, that he was finally diagnosed with ADHD and was given a prescription for Ritalin that he realized that his difficulties were not from a lack of motivation but a lapse in communication.

Shawn has since received his masters’ degree in education and counseling and fights the stigma of disability with his organization, Don’t Dis My Ability. He now helps families, individuals, and companies that deal with the issue of disability with a message that it isn’t motivation that is lacking but communication. He offers tools to those that are currently struggling with disability, which can turn a problem into an opportunity with an asset-based mentality. Tune into this week’s episode of the Boiling Point to hear how we are all brilliant in our own way.


In this episode

  • We recognize the importance of National Inclusion Month.
  • Shawn tells his story of growing up thinking something was wrong with him and how it all changed with his diagnosis at age 30.
  • Shawn explains what he means by saying it isn’t what is wrong with him but what is right.
  • He explains why often there is not an absence of motivation but proper communication.
  • We hear a tale of an employee that Shawn worked with in New Brunswick, and the amazing turn-around that happened.
  • Shawn explains a few of the tools he uses to produce results.
  • He explains what he means by an asset-based mentality.
  • Shawn also tells us about apps and animations being developed along-side previous BP guest Gene Fowler.
  • We also hear about a camp for children with learning disabilities that Shawn is currently working on.
  • Dave is moved by Shawn’s ability to share a story in order to help people understand an issue.
  • Greg believes that employers need to continue to educate themselves and always strive for empathy with their employees and that everyone is brilliant in their own way.


Don’t Dis My Ability

– Don’t Dis My Ability on Facebook

Gene Fowler’s BP Episode